「Adrianne, the engagement with you, today, I hereby annul it!」
This Albarni country’s second prince Gilbert-denka 1 faced me, the third daughter of the Tarudia earldom Adrianne von Tarudia and loudly declared. With a seemingly triumphant face, the eldest daughter of the Missiori barony, Ravina von Missiori was by his side waiting on him.
The location was the Royal Palace’s dining hall, where a party was being held for Gilbert-denka’s own birthday. The majority was nobles from this country, and there were a great number of nobles from outside the country; it happened right in the midst of where they had gathered.
Wearing faces of bewilderment were the nobles of this country, and the ones brimming with curiosity at the opportunity to see something interesting were the visitors from various countries.
The King held his head with the feeling, “that idiot has done it now,” and the Queen was expressionless. ……It’s frightening, that Noh mask-like face. 2
The reason why the King was not making a move was because he was likely thinking that it was already too late, and that if he spoke now the situation would become out of hand, so he would leave it for the end.
「I won’t listen to your excuses! Even if you cling on to me now, it’s too late, you’re already……」
「I have received your intentions. Then, from henceforth, our engagement is annulled.」
Perhaps he thought I would wail and cling onto him, towards I who had replied my acknowledgment immediately, Gilbert-denka stared at me with eyes wide open in astonishment.
「Eh, no, but, you………」
「Even though you already had a fiancée, without even severing your engagement and having another girl wait on you; I do not have an interest in such a person.
Furthermore, this sort of talk is only to be done in front of one’s family. Expressly making an arbitrary declaration in such a place as this as if to make the other party out to be a villain, I can only feel you’re acting with ill intentions.
Perhaps, you believed that by tailoring me to be the shameful villain, you could gloss over your own infidelic actions……」
Towards I, who always looked sleepy with half-closed eyes and an absentminded look, he must have thought that such a counterattack would never have come. No, even before that, he must have never considered that I would so easily acknowledge the breaking of our engagement. With his plans gone astray, His Highness seemed to be flustered.
Because if it continued like this, they would be the ones who appeared to be the villains. No, well, that was the truth.
「Now then, the reparations for the time spent on Queen training that has now become useless and for the limitations set on interaction with other gentlemen until now, the indemnities for the shame I’ve received on this occasion that will have a large influence on my marriage proposals from now on, the compensation for the dirt you’ve smeared on my family name, and for many other matters and instances, on a latter date, I will submit an official request……」
Yes, even though Gilbert-denka was the second prince, he was the Crown Prince. Because I was his fiancée, I received harsh Queen training and was restricted with a ban on social interaction with other gentlemen.
「Wa, wait! Wait a moment!!」
My, he seems to be very impatient……
「I-it’s evident that you falsely accused and harassed Ravina…」
「I know of no such thing. And suppose that I did do such a thing, what right does the thieving cat who stole my fiancé have to complain? The one who was doing something shameful was who?」
Having his words intercepted by the words I released, Gilbert-denka appeared to be pressured by them.
「H-however, the problem is that you tried to harm Ravina!」
「Harm? What exactly are you speaking about?」
「Don’t play dumb! You tried to push Ravina down the stairs at the Academy!
Isn’t that right, Ravina!」
In an instant, Ravina-jou’s primarily triumphant expression paled for some reason. Likely, she hadn’t planned for that matter to be made public.
「Do you have evidence?」
「The words of a noble daughter of the barony should be more evidence than enough!」
「Oh? Well then, if the daughter of an Earl testifies that『there is no such truth』, then that would be sufficient evidence as well?」
Towards me who always absentminded, he must have never thought he would lose to me in crossing words, Gilbert-denka appeared considerably shaken.
But, perhaps having realized a lead for a counterattack, he wore a victorious expression.
「Witnesses! There are witnesses who were at the scene!
Viscount’s daughter, Katia von Barbiér, Earl’s daughter Agathe von Verré, Baron’s daughter Lumia von Soliér, come forth!」
They were young noble ladies of age and were classmates with Gilbert-denka and me, naturally they would be attending this party.
Nervously coming to the front, for some reason the young noble ladies seemed to be fearful.
They must have never considered that they would be called out at this place to give testimony, it was understandable.
「Now then, please testify! First off, Viscount’s daughter Katia von Barbiér, tell us what you saw!」
「Y, yes…… It was five days ago in the evening, after classes were over, at the library…」
「Just a moment, please?」
Towards my interjection, Katia halted her words.
「Five days ago in the evening, after classes, the library. The subject of the last class of that day was on Propriety in the Royal Palace, Baleine-sensei’s class was it not?」
「I understand. Then, please continue with your speech.」
「Y, yes, that day, when I went to the library, at the top of the stairs was Ravina-sama and–」
「Yes, please stop right there!」
「Not knowing when to give up is unsightly, Adrianne!」
Disregarding Gilbert-denka’s jeers I continued speaking.
「Katia-san. If I’m not mistaken, on Wednesdays, you……」
I suddenly widened and opened my eyes, unsealing the lid of my memories.
「You receive dance lessons, yes? Bailleul-sensei is a very strict teacher, if someone were late, there would be extreme consequences and such… That day as well, when classes ended you immediately rushed home, did you not?」
「As for myself, when classes were done I chatted for a moment with Aria-sama and Rosine-sama, after I headed home with Sandra-sama and her companions, and after that I studied at my manor with Percy-sensei, who was dispatched from the Royal Palace, for the remainder of the time.」
I left aside the people who were dumbfounded and continued my words.
「Do you understand, for a Viscount’s person to try and ensnare an Earl’s person with false perjury, what consequences you are going to incur upon yourself……
Please do not think that it will end with just you. Because this would be a malicious attack by the Barbiér Viscounty towards our Tarudia Earldom, it will become a total war, you know? Of course, the King would also bestow a suitable punishment to the initial provokers. If favorable, your peerage would fall to a Barony, in the worst case they would strip you of everything and crush you, or execution perhaps…
Also, are you aware? The Viscount who is the husband of your second eldest sister, the largest patron of his wheat trading business, is the from the house of the fiancée of my elder brother……」
Katia-jou was already pallid and looked ready to fall over at any moment.
「Now, do continue.」
Urging her with my words, Katia-jou continued with a trembling voice.
「……The moment I saw Ravina-sama at the top of the stairs, I remembered I had dance lessons, and in a rush I returned home……」
Finally finished speaking, Katia-jou hurriedly disappeared into the crowd of guests.
「Now then, Duke’s daughter Agathe von Verré, Baron’s daughter Lumia von Soliér, just what and when did you witness the event?
Agathe-san whose eldest brother has just entered into the Chivalric Order’s Third Division, Lumia-san of the Soliér Baron House whose trader in charge of investing has become bankrupt causing their financial affairs to become strained, stake your lives and think carefully before you answer.」
「I, I don’t know a single thing! I only came out because Gilbert-denka nominated and called me forth!」
「Th, the same goes for me as well! If you do not have business with me, then I shall gratefully withdraw!」
Crying out so, the two promptly disappeared into the mass of spectators.
And, Gilbert-denka was in blank amazement.
「A, Adrianne, that face is……」
Oh, so you’re asking about that, I see.
「Wh, Why do you remember in such detail the events from five days ago!? And more, even about that girl’s elder sister!? You’ve plotted this from the very beginning, didn’t you!? This was a trap, wasn’t it!?」
「For what reason would I go through such lengths to trap you? Doing something so meaningless would be a waste of time, wouldn’t it?」
「Wa, waste of time……」
The dumbfounded Ravina-jou.
And, the yelling Gilbert-denka.
「Then, why do you remember the events of five days ago with such accuracy!? And, why are you eyes properly opened!? What is with that sharp and self-assured face!!?」
Eh…… It can’t be that His Highness doesn’t know about it? There’s no way, right?
「It isn’t as if I go around making contact with others, so it’s natural for the lower ranked nobles and the commoners to not know of it, but for the possibility of your Highness not knowing……
Um, you are aware that my grandmother is an advisor in the royal palace, yes?」
「Ahh, I’ve heard that she’s always in attendance at every meeting, and would be asked for opinions from time to time… It was exactly because that grandmother exists that the engagement between you and I was established.」
「Yes. And that grandmother was the Earl’s… No, in actuality before she married into the Tarudia house, she was from a house with a Knight’s peerage, that is, the reason why even though she was a woman from a house of a low ranked noble but was still able to achieve that sort of standing, was because my grandmother had an ability of『Absolute Memory』.」
To Gilbert-denka’s query, I continued speaking.
「Yes,『Absolute Memory』. An ability where the when the person has seen or heard something, they will never forget it. That’s why in my grandmother’s head is the history of this country, the complete roster of the members of the aristocracy, the contents of past meetings and what kind of statements someone made there, even all the laws and regulations of the kingdom, everything is within her memory.」
「Yo, you aren’t saying……」
I smiled sweetly.
「Yes, I’ve also inherited it. The ability of『Absolute Memory』…
Because the King wanted to take me into the royal family, and with the true intention and hope of handing down this power to his descendants, the King sought for a marriage between the Prince and I.
However the first prince found a woman he wanted to be together with for the rest of his life, but even so there would be a problem if I became a concubine but my children had the right of succession to the throne, so without a choice they nominated the second prince as the crown prince, and then I would become his official queen.
However, now that our engagement has been canceled, the circumstances have changed, so I dare say that the position of crown prince will return to being the first prince……」
Gilbert-denka was speechless at my words.
I was sure that he had already known about this obvious matter though……
「Th, then, that face is……」
「Aah, there isn’t really a big meaning behind this. The ability to be able to remember anything I’ve seen or heard can be pretty difficult. So as I wouldn’t have to remember anything unnecessary as much as possible, I always closed my eyes halfway, ignored listening to most things, and went about absentmindedly……」
「Wh, wha…… I cancel the cancellation of this engagement! I was only deceived by this woman, and have no intention of breaking this engagement!」
「No, as long as you have personally declared the revocation, and in the case that I have accepted that outcome, this engagement has become void. Afterwards, there is only the need to advance the formalities. Disregarding the case had it been declared in front of family members only, since you’ve proclaimed so in front of such a large crowd, you can’t act as if this situation never happened……」
「Then, if we get engaged again! If it’s that then there’s no problem, is there!?」
「No, that I cannot do.」
「Because I absolutely don’t want to.」
If the Crown Prince wished for it, there was no woman who could not be swayed.
Seeming to have believed that, Gilbert-denka wore a face of disbelief.
Well, Crown Prince, that was confined to the time when he was my fiancé, most likely he would only be『Second Prince』from now on, and after that he would become just『Royal Prince』. 4
「A person who betrays once may betray again. If I had to marry such a person as that, then from when I was three years old, just past noon on the twelfth day of the second month, the person who licked my wound to comfort me when I had fallen and cried because I skinned my elbow, or from when I was five on the evening of the twenty-first day of the fifth month, the person who kissed my forehead, I’d much rather marry them………」
While I was remembering those people my cheeks had reddened, and I continued talking.
「Besides, isn’t your Highness getting married to Ravina-jou? From the last time she attended a Military Arts class and has since been resting, two months have already passed…」5
「Wha, what? Three days ago was when I first……」
「Eh? Ah, that is, forget what you heard just now……」
「As if I could do that～～!!」
Ravina-jou changed into a deathly pale face and sunk into silence.
I’ve said something bad……
And towards Gilbert-denka who was in shock, I sent off some last words.
「Not being able to forget, that is to say, not just good memories, but also the feelings of anger and unhappiness, and the『feeling of being betrayed』.
I will never, from the bottom of my heart, absolutely, for all eternity, be swayed by your Highness. That is because I『possess Absolute Memory』……」
- -denka = Your/His/Her Highness (Other suffixes used in here are -sama = Used for people you look up to or have high rank (idk how to explain, go google it) / -jou = lady, miss / -sensei = teacher )
- – Noh masks are pretty creepy looking…
- More indicating acknowledgment, not laughing.
- I actually don’t know much about nobility ranks and such, but the difference being presented here is rather than just prince, he’s going to be royal prince, which is somewhat of a downgrade. Because when the Crown Prince (who would then be king) has a child, his children would be called prince, but because second prince (who is now royal prince) is still royalty, he is also called prince. Title means more like Brother of the King, or Royal Uncle or something. Don’t take my word for it, that’s just from what I understand of it…
- Well, if you don’t get the conjecture, other than being lazy or injured, why would a woman have to suddenly suspend all harsh physical activities?